Wildlife Crime Conservation Advisory Group (WCCAG)
JNCC has chaired the Wildlife Crime Conservation Advisory Group (WCCAG), formerly the Wildlife Law Enforcement Working Group (WLEWG), since its formation in 2003. The WCCAG brings together representatives from the UK statutory nature conservation organisations, other statutory agencies, relevant non-governmental organisations and the enforcement agencies, to assess the conservation risk to species and habitats from wildlife crime and the importance of enforcement intervention; to identify and recommend priorities for concerted action.
In the UK, the setting of wildlife crime priorities is carried out by the UK Tasking & Coordination Group (UKTCG) chaired by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) lead for wildlife crime. The UK TCG is informed by a strategic assessment prepared biennially by the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), which takes into account the recommendations provided by WCCAG, together with other enforcement priorities identified. The resulting priority areas are the ones which have been assessed as posing the greatest current threat to either the conservation status of a species or which show the highest volume of crime. Therefore, they are those that are assessed as requiring an immediate UK-wide strategic response. Each priority area has implementation plans with plan owners and leads identified for the prevention and enforcement of crimes.
Priorities for action against wildlife crime
The current UK conservation priorities are identified as the following:
- Raptor persecution (with a focus on golden eagle, goshawk, hen harrier, peregrine, red kite and white-tailed eagle).
- Bat persecution.
- Freshwater pearl mussel.
- CITES Trade.
Current high-volume crime priorities
The current high-volume crime priorities include:
- Badger persecution.
- Poaching (Deer Poaching/Coursing, Fish Poaching and Hare Coursing).
- Cyber crime.